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Citizen Corps

2002-07-16 14:44:07+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

A lot of people have been linking to the new Citizen Corps. At first I thought I'd stumbled on to a Whitehouse.org site, but nope, it's a legit .gov address. I'm not completely sure how I feel about it, Operation TIPS is creepy, but other parts of the site are good reminders that government isn't just a service we buy. Burning Bird linked to a Washington Post article on Citizen Corps which explores a lot of the down-sides, and also pointed to a weblogger version, Operation RATS.

[ related topics: Politics Civil Liberties ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-07-16 18:23:47+00 by: ziffle

Remember Hitler was elected.

I am all for a tip system - but -- only in a time of war. We are not at war. Saying we are does not make it so. He should declare war and then we would know these are temporary measures for a time of emrgency only. As its going he is destroying America. Like 'temporary' taxes we will never get rid of these - but I hope I am wrong about this.

In China they have a government person in every neighborhood who reports suspcious activity - it's a nightmare.


#Comment made: 2002-07-17 00:21:59+00 by: canis


#Comment made: 2002-07-17 10:09:01+00 by: John Abbe [edit history]

This is getting out of hand. I've been thinking -- the brave thing to do in the 50s would've been to join the Communist Party. So is anyone else up for starting a Terrorist Party?

I mean hey, i can admit that i sometimes try to get what i want by terrorizing people (okay, with verbal violence not physical violence). And the Party could be honest about American policies that involve terror (School of the Americas, heck the whole Cold War threat of mutual destruction).

The point is that use of terror != reason to write off people's motivations, or people themselves. (even the current administration recognizes this in the case of Sri Lanka and Israel/Palestine)

#Comment made: 2002-07-18 01:06:53+00 by: Dan Lyke

Just for reference, the New York Times uses the figure of 2.5% of the East German population between 18 and 60:

The people's ire was running equally strong against the regular Stasi informers, the inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs). By 1995, 174,000 had been identified as IMs, or 2.5 percent of the total population between the ages of 18 and 60. Researchers were aghast when they found that about 10,000 IMs, or roughly 6 percent of the total, had not yet reached the age of 18. Since many records were destroyed, the exact number of IMs probably will never be determined; but 500,000 was cited as a realistic figure. Former Colonel Rainer Wiegand, who served in the Stasi counterintelligence directorate, estimated that the figure could go as high as 2 million, if occasional stool pigeons were included.

The Sydney Morning Herald says the US program would use a minimum of 4% of Americans, and elaborates:

Assuming the program is initiated in the 10 largest US cities, that will be 1 million informants for a total population of almost 24 million, or one in 24 people.